A motorcycle parked in front of a tent on a pleasant green campsite

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My Dream Bike - By Peter Hawker

My Dream Bicycle.

   This is a dream bicycle for a particular cyclist, an octogenarian with diminishing pedal-power who cycles with a club and goes on a couple of camping trips a year, usually abroad and also shops using his bike. A fortunate survivor.                                                                                                                           

An all-round bike for an all-round biker.

Specification, off the top of my head and not necessarily in order of importance:

1. Electrically assisted, conveniently controlled. State of the art batteries, concealed in frame, long range and durable (a considerable improvement on those currently available, but they’re getting better).Powerfull but quiet bottom bracket  motor – free wheeling facility (weight in middle of bike – well balanced). *

2. The control panel would double as a solar panel – very little additional charging required.

3. Full suspension, adjustable and controlled from the handlebars. (the roads are deteriorating).

4. Step-thru frame, anticipating the situation that elderly gentlemen often encounter – difficulty in ‘getting their leg over’.

5. Folding frame. Necessary when travelling on trains, buses and planes. With integral bag.

6. Light and good to ride with and without power.

7. Disc brakes – no more rim damage.

8. Puncture proof low rolling resistance tyres on robust camping load-bearing wheels. The full suspension will reduce that demand.

9. Dynamo lighting, with direction indicators. And good mirrors – looking over my shoulder is becoming increasingly uncomfortable.

10. Integral security provision, including an alarm. (this will be an expensive bike!)

11. Regenerative braking, to charge the battery.

12. Anticipating eventual independance from the  car, a trailer. The bikes available now would require a trailer for my camping gear anyway – the back wheel would already have to withstand the formidable  load of two hefty batteries, given their present limited range, as well as that heavy engine.

   It’s anybody’s guess when such a bike will be available. With a reduced spec, suitable for just shopping and commuting use and more in demand, maybe sooner than we think. Geriatrics are more active now.  You may be able to extend and modify  this list – dream on!!

*A contentious subject. Many of my fellow club cyclists are uncomfortable with the idea of assisted cycling – the more traditional consider it almost immoral, avoiding the pain necessary for that essential Feelgood Factor. Almost cheating. But better cheating than giving up, I say.
So I’ve designed a logo for the ‘assisted’, a cheetah at full stretch with the message “we’re relaxed, we’re Cheetah powered” Patents pending.

Reader's Comments

Matt Mac said :-
Dear editor, I read Peters post on his Dream Cycle, the latest in Northern Ireland is electric bikes have to be registered with DVLA. The police have warned they will ticket anyone caught on electric quads,bikes without n/plates. This will mean insurance as well no dought. Perhaps over here the dream is fading . Is the rest of the British Isles following suit or has it already happened . I think there is an age limit of 13 yes old for bikes. Ps know it's not motorcycle with engines but close
9/9/2017 6:54:11 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I run the website for my local electric bicycle shop and I've talked to them about the rules. As I understand it for an e-bike to remain a bicycle with no registration plates, no insurance and no license requirement it needs to...

Be limited to pedal assist. That means the rider has to actually turn and keep turning the pedals before the power kicks in. I have heard rumours this may no longer be the case.

Be limited to 250watts of power output

Be limited to 15mph, the bicycle can be pedaled faster but without the assistance.

I've ridden a couple of the e-bikes and they are brilliant. The pedal effort is like riding on a flat road with no headwind even if it's uphill and offroad.

I personally believe we will see fully electric motorcycles take over from petrol powered models, and quite soon. But! That depends IF 2 wheeled vehicles survive the move to self driving vehicles.

10/9/2017 7:43:05 AM UTC
Steve S. said :-
I agree with Ren electric bikes are good fun to ride.My wife purchased one last week.I had a go and was amazed how much I enjoyed it.My old mountain bike seems like hard work after that.
I have seen electric bikes on eBay capable of 35 mph.Highly illegal on the road, although you can use them off road no problem.
You can press a few buttons on the LCD panel and make them road legal.
I think most people would use the full power on the road.Not much chance of being caught.
Unless of course you pass a few cars whilst they are moving!
10/9/2017 10:06:08 AM UTC
Keith m said :-
Oset do an electric trials bikes for kids and are starting to be used quite alot by the youngsters. Dont know how long the batteries last but they are able to complete a trial on them without running out of puff. The kids love them, they dont stall and they dont have to be kick started and no gears or clutch. Us adults look at them with resignation and know its coming.
11/9/2017 11:04:37 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
No gears, no clutch, no engine oil, full torque at any revs, no piston rings, no tappets...and so on and so on. Not much noise so trials can be held in areas close to houses. I love my petrol engines but maybe, just maybe, they will one day become like steam engines of the past.
11/9/2017 5:50:26 PM UTC
Keith m said :-
I think they will come. Once manufacturers sort out the batteries, reduce charging time and range between charges. Zero pollution from vehicles in town and city. Of course the current power stations might not be able to provide electricity for all our vehicles but that's a whole different thing.
11/9/2017 10:10:02 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
If someone cracks fast charging or a battery swapping scheme it'll come real quick. Then as you say we'll be short in the national grid for a while.
12/9/2017 6:02:01 AM UTC

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